Community Co-design Process

The Shape Newham community co-design process began in 2019. The co-design process included public assemblies, resident led design committees, radio workshops and youth-led projects.

The co-design process led to the development of a concept design proposal for each location by Spring 2020. A design exhibition had been planned to celebrate the concept proposals, but due to the pandemic it had to be moved online. View the display boards for each of the 18 concept design proposals (PDF)

Based on the concept design proposals showcased in the online design exhibition, the final technical designs have been developed for installation. The final installations differ slightly from the concept design proposals as they have been revised following technical site surveys, formal consultation with stakeholders and revisions to ensure the installation costs are within agreed budgets.

Shape Newham Assemblies

Between September and December 2019, there were three assemblies for each Shape Newham region. This provided opportunities for local communities to choose the site and priorities for each project. 

At the first round of assemblies communities chose the priorities for that town centre and suggested possible sites for projects. The dates of the assemblies were:

At the second round of assemblies communities voted on preferred locations for the projects. The dates of the assemblies were:

At the third round of assemblies communities gave feedback on the priorities for projects based on concept proposals from artists and designers for each of the sites. The dates of the assemblies were:

Artist Selection

To select the 10 artistic collaborators for the projects, an open Call for Artists was launched. 65 artists applied to collaborate as part of Shape Newham and three interview panels took place to select the artists. Over half of the panel members involved in the artist selection process were local residents.

The three days of selection of artistic collaborators took place with interview panels on: 7 Nov 2019, 14 Nov 2019 and 21 Nov 2019.

Shape Newham Radio

It has been important that all members of the Project Team hear the many voices of each local community. Radio Workshops in Summer and Autumn 2019 provided training to residents in radio interviewing techniques enabling them to record their stories. The stories were collated together into the Shape Newham Radio, which helped to provide inspiration for the project designs.

The Radio Workshops took place on: 25 July 2019, 7 Aug 2019, 3 Oct 2019, 16 Oct 2019, 22 Oct 2019. After an opportunity for the recordings to take place, these were collated and published online and at Assemblies in December 2019.

Design Committees

In each region, Design Committees were formed to review and contribute to the development of a concept design proposal for each location. Following applications, through the website and at assemblies, eight local residents for each region were randomly selected to join each Design Committee.

The dates of the Design Committee meetings were:

  • Green Street & Plaistow: 27 Jan 2020, 5 Feb 2020 and 4 Mar 2020
  • Forest Gate, Little Ilford, Manor Park & Maryland: 29 Jan 2020, 12 Feb 2020 and 26 Feb 2020
  • Beckton & East Ham: 28 Jan 2020, 11 Feb 2020 and 4 Mar 2020

Youth Led Projects

Three of the projects have been directly led by groups of young people from Beckton Youth Zone, Lister School, Forest Gate Youth Zone and Right & Equalities in Newham. The youth led projects are:

  • Voice of the Youth
  • Everyone Is Welcome
  • Place of Play

Between October 2019 and May 2020 the youth groups selected the artist they wanted to work with, chose the project locations and designed the artwork through participatory workshops. The three murals were all installed in 2021 and the young people joined in with the painting of the final installations.